Boba Fett's Lair : The Fett Files : Profiles

From Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters

  Droid: Holowan Mechanicals IG-88 Assassin
  Sex: Inapplicable (masculine programming)
  Hair Color: Inapplicable
  Eye Color: Red Sensors
  Height: 2 meters
  Homeworld: Holowan Laboratories
  Political Affiliation: Free-lance bounty hunter
  Weapons of Choice Blaster rifle, and other weapons
  Vehicle of choice: IG-2000
  First Appearance: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
The Old Republic and the Empire agreed on few things. One of those was the fundamental danger of legal assassin droids. No droid exemplified their fears more than the infamous bounty hunter IG-88.

First created in the days of the Old Republic, assassin droids were originally a law enforcement tool, keeping peace and capturing or killing dangerous criminals. Later versions, called war droids, were used as soldiers in the Outer Rim frontiers and the Corporate Sector. Gradually, the droids began to be misused by warlords, criminal kingpins, and politicians, so in its waning days, the Senate tried to outlaw the droids, but to no avail. Years later, the Empire would have a greater--though still not 100 percent--success rate at outlawing the assassin droids.

To make matters worse, many of the assassin droids gained a kind of pseudosentinence and independence from their programmers. To be effective assassins, the droids needed to be designed for autonomy and intelligence.

The most infamous of the semisentinent assassin droids is IG-88. Programmers at the high-security Holowan Laboratories had given the IG series the most sophisticated combat programs available, imbuing them with unprecendented levels of autonomy. Upon activation, the five IG prototypes killed twenty-three staff members and escaped Holowan Labs. The first model, IG-72, went into business as a ruthless bounty hunter in the Outer Rim Territories One of the others, IG-88 was even more daring. IG-88 worked in and around the Galactic Core, often within the confines of Imperial-controlled worlds on which assassin droids were strictly illegal. It hunted down its designers, executing them for fear they might reveal a flaw in its design. In its time, more than 150 deaths were traced to IG-88, and forty systems had issued "Dismantle on sight" orders for the tall assassin droid.

Ruthless and efficient, IG-88 employs a large arsenal of weaponry, including blaster rifles, grenade launcher, flamethrower, sonic stunner, missile weapons, and various other armaments hidden within its body. An array of sensors on its headpiece allow it to see in all directions at once, sensing movement at even long ranges, and allowing it to laser target its prey. A broadband antenna allows it to intercept and decode most transmissions.

Some ten years before they would come to Tatooine on the mission to find Obi-Wan Kenobi, the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO encountered IG-88 on a droid barge headed for the Hosk Station in the Kalarba system. The assassin droid had tried to kill Olag Greck by stowing away in his illegal glitterstim spice shipment. Fortunately for Greck, IG-88's batteries had drained, and Greck was able to detain it and have it transferred to his headquarters, Hosk Station. Greck planned to use the assassin in his arena battles. What he didn't know was that IG-88 had set a program trap. When the ship set touched down, it broke free, escaping into the station with Artoo at its metal heels.

Greck enlisted the aid of the flustered C-3PO to fine the two fugitive droids. After R2-D2 had been forced to help repair the assassin droid, the two attempted to sneak onto s shuttle to Kalarba City. Greck and his Gamorrean guards spotted them and attacked IG-88, pinning it to a wall with a carbonite constrictor net. Ever resourceful, the assassin droid used a gas bomb to mask it exit. It took Threepio hostage, as well, escaping with him and Artoo on Greck's own cruiser.

Greck took another ship, engaging IG-88 in a firefight among the rocky canyons of the Indobok moon. Both ships crashed, but R2-D2 and C-3PO managed to escape in a pod to Kalarba. At this point Greck realized that IG-88 hadn't been sent to kill him--only to humiliate him. In that, IG-88 had succeeded.

More than a decade later IG-88, by then considered the second most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy--after Boba Fett--was summoned by Darth Vader to the Super Star Destroyer Executor, where the assassin droid was joined by five other bounty hunters: Boba Fett, Dengar, Zuckuss, 4-LOM, and Bossk. Vader wanted them to find Han Solo and the Milennium Falcon, a step in his quest to capture Luke Skywalker.

While on Vader's Star Destroyer, IG-88 installed a homing device on Boba Fett's Slave I. The assassin droid that if it couldn't get Solo itself, Fett would. If Fett got him, IG-88 could steal him away. Fett's sensors didn't register the droid's device as he successfully tracked the Falcon toward Bespin. IG-88 was unable to snatch Solo on Bespin before Darth Vader arrived, so the next logical move was to go to Tatooine and wait. Fett was to deliver Solo to Jabba the Hutt, and IG-88, aboard its needle-shaped IG-2000 ship, would be there first.

As the Slave I emerged from hyperspace near Tatooine, Fett was angered to find the IG-2000 waiting for him. Fett fired, easily destroying the IG-2000 in one strafing blast. He readied himseld; it had to be a decoy. Sure enough, another IG-2000 roared out of hyperspace, blasting away at the Slave I.

Fett sent his ship into a dive toward the planet, ignoring IG-88's monotone threats over the comm. As gravity caught hold of the two bounty ships, Fett used his unique inertial-dampening system to stop the Slave I. The IG-2000 shot past him, propelled by the forces of the planet and its own speed, and Fett grabbed it with his tractor beam. Silently, as always, Fett lined up a concussion missile and blew the IG-2000 to microscopic bits.

It would appear that IG-88 was destroyed, yet the assassin droid was sighted several more times throughout the galaxy, such as when the body of an IG-88 droid was seen by Chewbacca in the scrap room on Cloud City. Searching for information to use in the rescue of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 tracked IG-88 to the the planet Stenos, and were surprised to find that Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca had tracked the reptilian bounty hunter Bossk there, as well. In the complications and battles that followed, both bounty hunters escaped. And on the hunter's world of Keyorin, shortly after the Alliance's daring rescue of Han Solo on Tatooine, Bossk and IG-88 tried to collect on a small-time crime boss's bounty on Calrissian's head, but they were beaten yet again.

No one has yet found out how IG-88 has survived certain death, or what happened to the other three IG-series assassin droids. The only people that know the answers--the Holowan scientists--are long dead. But their most deadly creation, IG-88, is still very much "alive" ... and planning its future.

Boba Fett's Lair
© 1997 - 1999 Chris Coleman